Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Your Home Should Be as Special as Your Family! Visit FCG for a Custom Look

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 17, 2020 @ 06: 07 PM

20200118-newsletter-header

 

Our annual church fundraising gala features an auction where we get to bid on a host of enticements from wine-and-cheese baskets to spa facials. Only one item on the list seems to ignite a bidding frenzy every year, though. That’s a private chef’s dinner for ten in your home.

What luxury! A chef in a white toque fussing over crispy goat cheese fritters in your very own kitchen! Mint merlot cherries, anyone?

Sigh … out-bid again...

But the idea is intriguing to me. Boston has so many fine restaurants. Why is a dinner party with a personal chef so appealing? I guess it’s the same reason why some big spenders demand private jets or bespoke suits.

Custom is cool!

In the world of home decor, customizing furniture has long been an important part of the business. Upholstered sofas and chairs come in dozens of styles and shapes. There are literally thousands of fabrics from which you can choose, adding accents such as welting or fringe. The result is a one-of a kind look that is special, a reflection of your style.

Furniture Consignment Gallery is proud to offer a customizable line of quality furniture made in North Carolina by furnituremaker Sam Moore. You can choose one of hundreds of frames from our catalogue. You can examine our floor models. You can choose the fabrics that will best express your unique story. The selection process is fun because it’s all about you.

So stop by our Hanover store today. Flip through the catalogue. Play around with some of our fabulous fabrics. Dream a little.

The Churchill War Rooms Survived the German Blitz, but Were Nearly Destroyed by My Three Boys

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 10, 2020 @ 04: 59 PM

20200111-newsletter-header

 

The Churchill War Rooms in London were a top-secret hideaway from which the British plotted strategy during World War II. The underground bunker, now a museum, was designed to withstand ferocious bombing attacks by the Germans.

Two weeks ago, the place was almost destroyed by Americans, namely my three rambunctious boys.

Over the holidays, my family took a jaunt across the pond for a couple of days to visit London. I had high hopes for educational enrichment. This was clearly necessary: my eleven-year-old, Robbie, was stubbornly attached to the idea that Winston Churchill was a church on a hill in the town of Winston.

Even as we filed into the museum, Robbie was vigorously defending his theory to his two older brothers. Their scorn led to a shoving match which nearly got us thrown out only moments after I’d paid the entry fee.

My three boys are big. When they start jostling, there’s a lot of collateral damage accompanied by loud proclamations of propaganda. “I didn’t do anything!” “He started it!” “That wasn’t me!”

Nobody did anything and nothing happened, according to the boys, but everything in their wake is busted, and all three look pretty beat up. The Churchill War Rooms survived the attack, but just barely.

Waiting patiently in long queues in an art in Britain. I’d hoped my boys would learn that skill in London, but no, that was too much to hope for.

The final straw came when we landed Logan Airport. After getting off the plane, we joined the long passport-control lines. That’s when jetlag, exhaustion and impatience ramped tensions among the boys up to DEFCON 1.

How it started no one knows, but the altercation escalated rapidly to tripping, shoving, jabbing and name-calling. I admonished. I pleaded. Then I threatened. Interrogation rooms – with black-op torture techniques – were waiting if they didn’t quiet down.

Family travel isn’t anything like the glossy photos in the magazines featuring laughing parents and happy children. Take it from me, it’s a war most of the time. The victor is the one who never, never, never gives up. I learned a lot from Winston Churchill. I guess my boys did, too.

Bored with Gray? Get Ready for a New Design Trend – Color!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 03, 2020 @ 05: 35 PM

20200104-newsletter-header

 

Here’s an urgent news flash from the home-design front: Gray is gone.

As rapidly as a sparkler fizzles out on New Year’s Eve, gray has vanished from the palette of home design colors. For a decade, gray had dominated. Designers fawned over its myriad variations with a thousand fancy names: fossil, smoke, steel, pewter, fog, shadow, sable, nickel, carbon, and even grease and mud.

Mud? Are you serious?

Good riddance, I say.

At FCG, we began to see smoke lose its sizzle six months ago. We had a couple of attractive gray sofas lingering a little too long on the showroom floor. A year ago, they would have sold in a day or so. Brian, a masterful merchandiser who manages our store in Hanover, issued the official warrant: “Gray is dead.”

2020 will be an exciting year for new trends. Already, we’re seeing hints of what will be hot this year. Don’t fret. Just because gray is gone we aren’t condemned to boring beige. According to a recent survey, we’ll be embracing an exciting new palette of warm earth tones, especially green.

Stop by one of stores this weekend and check out our huge inventory of stylish quality furniture. You can also update your home easily with accessories that will give you a fresh new outlook for 2020. We’ve got it all at FCG.



*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Wednesday January 1, 2020 at midnight.

New Year’s Resolution: Get 15% Off on Exciting New Furniture at FCG Now

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 27, 2019 @ 11: 29 AM

20191228-newsletter-headerD

 

Feeling down? Maybe a little lost or disappointed? You are not alone. The holiday blues are a common phenomenon during a season in which everyone seems to expect to feel boundless joy.

Christmas isn’t the only event that can spark the blues. Many runners feel a letdown after a marathon. New mothers may experience postpartum depression. Students sometimes suffer the blues after taking final exams or even graduating.

Here are some tips to help you beat the holiday blues:

Get up and get moving! Set the alarm clock, hit the shower, put on those new clothes and drive straight to FCG. We’re running a 15% off sale. What better way to fix your mood then getting a great deal on new furniture?

Start a new project! A new year is upon us so focus on yourself and your home. Redecorate the living room. Transform your daughter’s old bedroom into a craft room. You’ll find terrific ideas for your project at FCG. And 15% off our already amazing bargains makes the task even sweeter.

Light up your life! Cure the gloom of the holiday hangover with some new lighting. Stylish table lamps add color and may enhance your mood. And all lighting is part of our end-of-year sale at FCG!

Tired of trying to act jolly and merry? At FCG, our sale is so exciting you don’t have to act. As Boston’s best pre-owned furniture and home accessories store, you’ll get gleeful just strolling through our showrooms.
Thank you for being a loyal customer of Furniture Consignment Gallery. Kick off 2020 with a bang, and drop by one of our three stores. It’ll brighten your day.




*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Wednesday January 1, 2020 at midnight.

How to Settle a Family Feud? Declare a Sectional Ceasefire

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 20, 2019 @ 04: 48 PM

20191221-newsletter-header-C

 

As soon as they arrived at their parents’ house, the four middle-aged women started fighting like toddlers. Their parents weren’t there, thank heaven, as the elderly couple had recently moved to an assisted-living facility. I was glad they didn’t have to witness this squabble.

The eldest sister wanted to claim all the good furniture for herself. She raced through the house, slapping neon green stickers on every item she intended to haul home. Sister #2 wanted to call Goodwill, ASAP. “Not my style,” she announced with imperial hauteur. “So dated,” she sniffed at her older sister. “I say let’s get rid of it all.”

Sister #3 – the one who’d called me in for an estimate – wanted to squeeze every penny out of the furniture and housewares by selling it. Frugality was a family virtue. “After all,” she reminded her siblings. “Dad and Mom worked hard for all this.”

Meanwhile, the youngest was relishing the opportunity to inflict as many insults on her sisters as possible in the short time they would be together. “Goodwill?” she hissed at Sister #2. “You just want to dump the responsibility on us so you can run off with another sugar daddy… ‘till he gets tired of you in six months.”

I’m no stranger to family feuds. My Italian grandmother had five sisters, and they fought with unrestrained fervor especially at Christmas, when they’d vie for dominance in the kitchen. Actually, as I listened to these sisters spar, it brought back memories … though the insults traded by my grandmother and her sisters were in Italian, which sounds far more dramatic and threatening than mere English.

When caught between warring female factions, escape is always the best option. But first, I had to inform this angry quartet of women that their parents’ mid-century modern furniture wouldn’t make the cut at FCG. Just about every piece needed major restoration work to be sell-able.

Delivering that news to those women was a dangerous task. I didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire. But, as I fled, I caught sight of a beautiful curved sectional that spanned about eleven feet. Only in the last few decades have sectionals become the centerpiece of family-room living. This would have been one of the first.

If only those sisters would declare a Sectional Ceasefire, I thought. Perhaps they could even share a few happy memories about growing up together. After all, Christmas is about miracles.

At FCG, we have a large stockpile of classic and contemporary sectionals in our three stores. A sectional is a great way to bring a family together. It’s perfect for watching ballgames or opening the beribboned bounty brought by Santa. And if you have a feud that need settling, a sectional is the perfect place for family court. Just don’t ask me to adjudicate.

Lesson from Christmas, Circa 1978: Cheap Toys Mean a Lot More Work for Parents

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 13, 2019 @ 04: 25 PM

20191214-newsletter-header

 

It was the longest night of my life, Christmas Eve 1978. I’d close my eyes and try not to look at the clock, but time had slowed to a crawl. I could see the numbers glowing orange in the dark: 3:30 a.m., then 3:40 a.m. Was this some sort of trick? Is this how Santa managed to circumnavigate the globe in a single night?

Finally, a light flicked on downstairs, the signal that we could finally inspect the bounty that had mysteriously appeared under our tree during the night. With my brothers, I raced down the stairs and pounced on the first present with my name on it.

Santa! What a genius! He’d gotten me just what I’d wanted: a Han Solo action figure with the all-important blaster! Star Wars, the movie, had been released earlier that year. I was a big fan, especially of Han Solo, the rugged, wise-cracking pilot of a starship and a leader in the Rebel Alliance.

Within moments, though, I realized that Han Solo, the plastic action figure, wasn’t nearly as rugged as the character in the movie. My best Christmas ever ended when his head snapped off in my hand. All the Super Glue in the world wouldn’t bring him back. Captain Han Solo, RIP. He hadn’t even lasted ‘till breakfast.

My mother promised Santa would replace Han Solo. Supposedly, he made a couple of return trips to replace damaged toys. But to her dismay, Han Solo had been a blockbuster toy that year. There were none left on the store shelves.

So my mom wrote a letter to Kenner, the toy-maker. A few months later, Han Solo, the replacement, arrived in the mail. Within moments, Han Solo was headless. Outraged, my mom dashed off another letter to Kenner only to have the same frustrating result, over and over again. Somewhere, in the company archives, there’s probably a stash of her letters filed under “Angry Mom.”

I’m not exactly sure when she gave up. But the moral of the story is this: cheap toys, like cheap furniture, are a major disappointment.

If you are in the market for furniture this holiday season, keep in mind that some of the furniture you see online or in discount stores may have an appealing design and price, but the piece probably won’t withstand a year of normal wear-and-tear. Repair? That’s not an option for most of those particleboard pieces. Replacement? Well, let’s just say you will probably need Google Translate to re-phrase your inquiry into Chinese.

Stop by FCG and check out our high-quality pre-owned furniture. You’ll be delighted by the craftsmanship and the cost. And you won’t have to spend 2020 writing angry letters to China.

Dirty Cargo: Massive Ships Pollute the Environment, the Economy and Your Home with Cheap Furniture from Asia

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 06, 2019 @ 04: 56 PM

20191207-newsletter-header

 

“最后一个,” the sailor yelled as the crane lifted the final container off the massive cargo ship. Roughly translated, that means “that’s the last one!” Unloading had been a long, arduous process. Each 40-foot container weighs, on average, about 30 tons and they are stacked five stories high on these ships, about 18,000 on a single ship.



Cargo ships arrive in our harbors by the dozens every day, hauling everything from toys to cars to furniture. We Americans know little about this global trade – and understand even less the effects on our economy and environment. A mega-ship burns 320 tons of low-grade fuel a day. That means a single ship releases more pollutants in one year than 50 million cars.



Imports from China are down 23% this year, largely because of the trade war. But China remains our largest importer of furniture. As a furniture expert, I know the stuff piled into those shipping containers is as poor in quality as the crude oil burned by the ships to bring it to our shores.



Our landfills are already groaning under massive piles of disposable furniture, which started pouring into our markets about twenty years ago. Made of particleboard held together with glue and plastic screws, this furniture has a useful life as long as a mosquito’s.



There’s a better solution. Here in the U.S., we have enough furniture to outfit almost every household, new and old. Quality furniture is here in consignment shops and other resale shops. You’ll even find some fine pieces at yard sales. This is recycling at its best. Buying used furniture means less pollution and less Styrofoam, which, by the way, has the lifespan of a cockroach. It is indestructible.



At Furniture Consignment Gallery, our goal is to make buying and selling preowned furniture fun, easy and affordable. So this Christmas, consider stopping by one of our three stores and adding some of our fabulous pieces to your sleigh. Santa would approve.

A Frugal Yankee’s Manifesto: A Nick or a Scratch is Okay if It Saves Me Money

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, November 29, 2019 @ 05: 46 PM

20191130-newsletter-header

 

“Do you have anything back in the stockroom with, um, a nick, a scratch or a blemish?”

Can me a frugal Yankee. I’m always looking for a bargain. If I can save a few bucks by buying something that’s not quite perfect, I’m happy. And that’s my modus operandi whether I’m buying a car, a pair of skis or a television.

For years, I was a bit of an oddball. After all, some people spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new car simply because they just love that new-car smell. (Believe it or not, Amazon sells a spray can of new-car smell for $9.99, though users have rated it a disappointing three stars.)

But more and more people are coming around to my point of view. Proof: the Association of Resale Professionals says that the sale of used goods is a $17.5 billion market in the U.S. More significantly, that market is growing at an annual rate of 15%. Meanwhile, department store revenues will fall 2% in 2019.

A customer earlier this week mentioned that she’d gone to a well-known furniture retailer to check out styles and prices before coming to FCG. “It was a ghost town in there,” she said, shaking her head. “The showroom was sparse, and the only salesman on the floor was watching a movie on his cell phone.”

Furniture Consignment Gallery‘s three large showrooms are jammed with high-end furniture and our salespeople are far too busy to while away the hours watching cat videos. They’re helping you, our customers, save thousands on luxury brands such as Henkel Harris, Lignet Roset or Roche Bobois.

There’s a major shift happening in the economy. Buying items on consignment or slightly used is good for the economy, good for the planet and good for your wallet. That’s recycling and sustainability at its best.

As the Christmas season kicks-off this weekend, FCG is offering an additional 15% off our already low prices. Even Black Friday events can’t compete with the bargains we offer at FCG.

How to Torture Millennials: Ban Smartphones at the Thanksgiving Table

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, November 22, 2019 @ 02: 35 PM

20191123-newsletter-header

 

Some of us long for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving. No, I’m not talking about going over the river and through the woods on a horse-drawn sleigh. I’m talking about a simple dinner around a table sans smartphones.

Sigh.

I realize I sound like an old fogey, but if I were POTUS – that is, President of the United States – I’d ban the use of all electronic devices once a year on Thanksgiving.

Sure, the turkey might be dry and your looney cousin may be pilfering dinner rolls to sustain him during the coming End of Times, but I think there’s still something to be treasured in a family feast. I’d like to see more families serve up real conversation with a side of crazy political fighting instead of a blue-light ghetto of internet memes and cat videos.

But that’s not likely to happen. ‘Tis the season to be wired.

For today’s millennials, going even a few hours without electronic diversion would be torture. What could be more agonizing that sitting around a dining table and conversing? Making eye contact with elderly relatives? A nightmare. Sitting in an actual chair at a table with both feet on the floor, holding utensils, rather than sprawling on a couch gripping an electronic device? The worst possible fate.

Those who have to submit to such draconian measures – like my three boys -- will scream silently for mercy. “Mom, Dad,” they’ll plead with pained facial expressions. “How much longer? Why do I have to sit here? Why are they asking me questions about sports and schoolwork? Pleeeeeeze, let me go!”

After a couple of hours of electronic deprivation, we’ll probably relent lest they fracture mentally under the stress. After all, we don’t want to do permanent damage to their psyches. I’m sure other families are similarly resigned. Maybe that’s why there’s such a binge of online buying on Black Friday.

But for a few hours, we’ve got them. We’ll force some social interaction even when they cringe in pain. And maybe someday they’ll remember what fun it was to talk to actual people over an old-fashioned meal around a real table. One can hope.

A Snafu, a Panic, a Plea, a Decision and a Victory: All This at FCG? You Bet!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, November 15, 2019 @ 06: 08 PM

20191116-newsletter-header

 

She hurried into our showroom earlier this week, and her anxiety was evident. She and her husband were selling their family home and moving to Florida, a move that had been planned down to the bubble wrap on the last teacup. Suddenly, the new buyers had hurled a wrench into the exquisitely timed moving machinery.

Everything in the house had been packed, labeled and loaded into the moving van except for the seller’s enormous bedroom set. Months ago, the buyers had agreed to buy it. At the last moment, the buyers changed their minds and wanted the set out of the house.

That was a big problem for the panicky woman in our showroom. Her bedroom set was relatively new and very expensive. She had to sell it or give it away within the next few hours. “Please,” she pleaded with me, “can you help?”

FCG encounters situations like this all the time. And while we have the greatest compassion for those who are dealing with these snafus, we still need to be selective about the furniture we accept for our showrooms. After all, that’s our promise to our customers: FCG’s showrooms will always be chockful of name-brand, nearly new, high-quality furniture. We simply can’t put old furniture on our showroom floor because someone needs to unload it in a hurry.

Still, I felt badly for this woman. Her hand shaking, she handed me her cellphone so I could scroll through the photos she’d taken of the bedroom set. Unfortunately, in her distress, she’d taken pictures that were blurry and too dark to see the set clearly. I zoomed in to try to find even a single detail that would help me determine whether to accept the set for consignment.

Then, I saw it: a tiny bit of inlaid border on the cabinetry. It suggested the set just might be a spectacular find. I made the quick decision, rare for me, to take a chance. “We’ll pick it up today,” I told the woman.

Her reaction was explosive. She jumped up and down in the middle of the store with joy, looking like she didn’t know whether to cry or laugh.

I had a sudden flashback to the 1983 NCAA basketball Championship, when a spectacular dunk in the last seconds of the game propelled North Caroline State University to victory over the Houston Cougars. The game is pure legend, in part because the winning coach leaped off the bench whooping wildly and ran around the court wildly looking for someone to hug.

She kinda’ looked like that.

Anyway, the next day our movers backed the truck up to the showroom to unload the set. I was nervous. What if my instincts were wrong? Would my last-minute decision compromise the stylish look of our showroom?

“Wow,” one of our talented associates gasped as the set was placed in the showroom. “That’s some beautiful furniture!”

At that news, it was my turn to act like the winning coach, the late great Jim Valvano, whose reaction after that game radiated pure joy to everyone lucky enough to be watching. I jumped up, pumping my fist in the air, looking for someone to high five. Victory is so sweet.